US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies in West Texas

Houston, Feb 14 (IANS) US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead ON Saturday on a resort in the US state of Texas.

Scalia, 79, arrived on Friday at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa, and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast on Saturday, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found he was already dead, Xinhua reported citing the Houston Chronicle, the largest daily newspaper in Houston, Texas.

A federal official, who asked not to be named, said that there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday confirmed that Justice Antonin Scalia had died.

President Barack Obama has been informed about the death of Justice Scalia and expressed condolences to the conservative jurist’s family, the White House said on Saturday.

Obama is in California on a golf vacation ahead of a summit with Southeast Asian nations next week.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a patriot and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution”.

Scalia, who was born in 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey, was appointed to the high court by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1986 until his death.

He was the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court and was well-known for passionately opposing abortion and strongly supporting the death penalty.

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